The follow up to 2009’s Star Trek reboot is an action-packed science-fiction adventure film that doesn’t quite reach the bar set in J.J. Abrams’ first film, but is entertaining enough to please Trekkies and the regular blockbuster film-going audience alike.
Into Darkness reunites us with all the familiar faces of the first film, which is a welcoming site but as all the characters have now been established, there is somewhat a void of further character development with the central characters. That void has been filled with multiple action set pieces, which while looking pretty, takes away from the charm of getting to know our principal characters, something that was prevalent in the first film. Nevertheless, the dynamics between some of the main characters of Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), Bones (Karl Urban), Scotty (Simon Pegg) and others is very enjoyable to watch.
The lead villain in Into Darkness – John Harrison is menacingly played by Benedict Cumberbatch and is a vast improvement over Eric Bana’s Nero character from the first film. Harrison is a powerful foe with homicidal tendencies and a personal vendetta against Star Fleet. After a mass-murderous attack on a future-London and Star Fleet commanders, Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise are sent on a manhunt to find Harrison and end his reign of terror.
There are twists and turns as the story progresses, keeping the audience engaged for the entirety of the film. Each plot point is essentially built up to end with a large-scale action set piece and that formula is repeated multiple times over the course of the film. Whilst that formula is highly entertaining, it doesn’t do the film much justice as being part of a pioneering franchise in the science-fiction genre, but rather reducing it to a special effects blockbuster extravaganza – the type that Hollywood churns out on a regular basis – set in the Star Trek universe.
As far as the effects and visuals are concerned, the film is stunning. The IMAX cinema completely exaggerates the already epic scale of the film, making it a truly pleasurable experience for the senses. The film was post-converted to 3D, which is generally considered a hindrance to a film not shot with 3D cameras, but in this instance was of a more than satisfactory level. After the initial opening of the film, the fact that the film is in 3D tends to get lost on the viewer once they are wrapped up into the film’s story and stunning visuals, which is a positive for the post-conversion technique being used on several blockbuster films.
Star Trek Into Darkness is a highly entertaining second entry into the reboot of the widely popular Star Trek franchise. The film is very action-centric, which is its biggest flaw as well as its biggest strength.
One of the conditions for Leonard Nimoy to make an appearance as Spock in this film was for J.J. Abrams to make sure coffee ice cream was available at all times on the set. Leonard Nimoy loved coffee ice cream.